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NHL Coaching Trees

The interconnected nature of NHL coaches and the outsiders who join the club make Mike Keenan the most influential coach in the NHL right now.

Jim McIsaac

Trace the roots of all 30 NHL head coaches back to the men who launched their coaching careers and you'll find that just 5 men are responsible for the careers of 18 NHL head coaches. The largest tree belongs to Mike Keenan with 5 bench bosses in his coaching lineage while Patrick Roy is a first-year coach with no tree at all.

I've only included active branches of the tree in the chart below.

*Click to enlarge the chart below. Get the full-sized chart here.


  • In total, active coaches and the men in their coaching trees have won 14 Stanley Cups.
  • Two trees have three Stanley Cups each - Harry Neale's tree: Joel Quenneville (2), Marc Crawford (1) and Bob Johnson's tree: Johnson (1), Darryl Sutter (1), Randy Carlyle (1),
  • Mike Keenan's tree has two Stanley Cups - Keenan (1), Peter Laviolette (1) as does Rick Dudley's tree: John Tortorella (1), Dan Bylsma (1)
  • Mike Babcock: Babcock (1), Bruce Bullard: Claude Julien (1), Dick Todd: Bob Hartley (1) and Ken Hitchcock: Hitchcock (1) each have one Stanley Cup.
  • Active coaches and the men in their trees have finished as runner-up 17 times.
  • Mike Keenan's tree has finished second six times: Keenan (3), Peter Laviolette (1), Paul Maurice (1), Peter DeBoer (1), well ahead of any other, giving his tree eight appearances in the Finals overall.
  • Bob Johnson's tree - Johnson (1), Darryl Sutter (1) has lost in the Finals twice, as has Roger Neilson's tree - Neilson (1), Lindy Ruff (1) and Mike Babcock's tree - Babcock (2).
  • Five other trees have one finalist each: Harry Neale - Alain Vigneault (1), Bryan Murray - Murray (1), Bruce Bullard - Claude Julien (1), Michel Therrien - Therrien (1) and Ken Hitchcock - Hitchcock (1).